The hashtag Nigerians must go is trending on Twitter. Many are expressing anger towards Nigerians after five Nigerian nationals were arrested and charged with human trafficking.
I believe that despite our different nations, cultures and language, we are all Africans. Above all, we are all human beings. The human race, is indeed, the most important race. What you cannot do to your own flesh and blood, then don’t do it to anyone else.
As human beings, who were born and raised by humans, we are taught that when you visit people in their homes, you ought to behave well. In Shona we say, ‘Mwana wamambo muranda kumwe‘. The son of a king loses his honour in a foreign land (literally becomes just a servant elsewhere). In your own kingdom, you can do as you please, but away from home, you then have to behave because you don’t have the same liberty as at home. This is what we were taught in our homes. You do not get into people’s homes and take over. That is utter disrespect. Each and everyone of us represents our families and our nations. Let us represent them well. Can we blame people who put labels on foreigners when some of us have decided to be murderers and human traffickers? Is this how we have chosen to represent our nations? By doing crime?
I, as a human being, stand against crime whether it is done by a foreign national or a South African national. Crime is crime, but it really is worse when it is being done by a foreign national. Represent your nation well! Surely, our parents taught us better! We should build with the nationals of this land, not destroy. If you want to traffic humans, then go back and traffic your own flesh and blood! If it is murder you wish to commit, go, and murder your own family. The unemployment rate is high everywhere, so if you decide to sell drugs, that you can also do in your own country. Seriously consider this, if SA should go the Zim-way, where will all of Africa go?
It is true that not every foreigner is a criminal and not every Nigerian is a drug lord, a pimp or human trafficker. But, we are all now being painted by the same brush because of a few who choose to be criminals. My message to those who have decided to do crime is, stop it and stop it now. If you visit the taxi rank, you will be touched by some South African nationals selling ice, snacks and fruits to survive, yet some foreigners feel that they are too smart for an honest living and resort to crime and selling drugs. Seriously, this is not right! Let us behave in people’s homes. Where is your conscience?
Here is an article which holds some truth written by a Nigerian.
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It is sad that it is the innocent foreigners that suffer when spurts of xenophobic attacks on foreigners erupt in the country. I repeat, not every foreigner is a criminal. Those who are doing crime should be dealt with. Some foreigners are contributing positively to society. Can we then just say, criminals must be dealt with, whether foreigners or nationals, crime is after-all crime. It has no race or nationality. Punishing all foreigners is just the same as punishing all men for the crimes of one man. The entire family can not be punished for the wrongs of one ill-behaved brat. At the end of the day, let us all work towards peace and rebuilding (South) Africa. Let us not allow the few rotten apples among us to spoil all of us. Let love lead.
Article by Constance van Niekerk, @convanniekerk